My husband and I both were running the Chicago Marathon this year. This would be his 8th Chicago Marathon ( I thought 7 oops- sign I'm getting old) and my 5th Chicago Marathon. We both grew up in a suburb of Chicago and have family that are still living in the area so it makes for a perfect city to run the Marathon in. The above picture was the poster hanging as we walked into the expo. We arrived at the Expo about 10 a.m.Saturday morning. I love the Chicago Marathon, but a hands down second is this expo. I'm like a kid in a candy shop. I love picking up all the different freebies and trying to win things along with shopping and checking out the newest running gear.
Nike has always had a great Expo booth. This year seemed even bigger, but bigger isn't always better as I soon found out because it was a ZOO in their expo area. They had a DJ mixing songs and the music was too loud and there just wasn't any easy way to look at the merchandise due to the mass amount of people. So this was the first year in a long time I didn't purchase a Nike Chicago Marathon shirt. I did however purchase some fun other items at the expo: Run Happy Chicago Marathon Brooks T-shirt, I Run CHI shirt from Saucony, Earbuds ( I broke down and spent some $ for ear buds in the hopes that these will last me longer than my current over the head sony/1980's esque walkman headphones that I seem to burn out in about a month due to long runs and sweaty ears :)). I also found my Saucony Pro Grid shoes size 8 at one of the shoe/running company expo booths. This shoe will no longer be made so I'm trying my best to find them and buy them when I can- not ready to change.
Nike always has innovative ideas at their expo booth. This year along with their wall made of all the 40,000+ runners names wallpapering the wall they also had the above great gadget- scan your bib and your name would come up on the screen- LOVED IT! Husband of course wouldn't partake because it is too "mainstream" or "expected". I was all about it.
Last, but not least one of my favorite moments at the expo was meeting Hal Higdon in person and getting my picture with him. I told him I've followed his training schedule for all 5 Chicago Marathons and thanked him for being such a great mentor for the sport. He wasn't that talkative, and I didn't know if a. he wasn't a Michigan fan and wasn't into my shirt b. wasn't chummy with me because I didn't buy a book and have him sign it or c. was he just one of those people who are more quiet/reserved. It was a great moment in my running history any way you answer that multiple choice selection.
Then the day of the Marathon arrived somewhat early. We got up at 5:30 am and were out the door by 6ish. We both had planned for cold weather and had our beautiful "throw away" outfits on. I'm so mad at myself for not having us get our picture taken in the "throw away" get-ups. But here is my best at describing our attire. I was wearing my nike capri black/blue running pants with the matching long sleeve technical top. Over that shirt I had a "You Care" breast cancer walk shirt from a walk I did probably 8 years ago. Over that I had a sweatshirt donated by my mother in-law which was white with a big American flag across the front and numerous stains painting the white sweatshirt. I then had on my nike white running hat with a boy's blue wool cap covering that. On top of my nike capri pants were purple fleece pajama bottoms. I know it sounds just wonderful, but my husband had me beat hands down. He too had many different layers on, but the crowning glory for his outfit was the gray sweatshirt he wore as his top "throw away" layer which had printed on it a country flower scene with a ladies bike and picket fence depicted along with the flowers/sunshine background. It was the funniest thing, next to the Chewbaca outfit from Halloween last year, I had ever seen him in. We both were thankful for the "throw-away" outfits as we stayed warm prior to the start.
He started in first wave corral B, due to his time finishes in the past and at recent 1/2 marathon this summer. I started in 2nd wave due to my slower times. I was in corral J with the 4-4:30 FINISHERS. We said goodbye to each other around 6:45 and after I used the port o potty I headed to my corral/gate. They closed the gates at 7:45 so I had plenty of time to lie on the streets of Chicago and wait for the marathon to begin while looking at the moon still present in the morning sky above me. It was peaceful and due to my wonderful outer layers I really wasn't too cold. When it got time to get ready for the second wave I took my pj pants and the American flag sweatshirt off and threw them to the side. Side note- all throw away clothes are donated to local Chicago homeless shelters so I knew my fleece pjs would be helping someone else stay warm down the road. I crossed the start line at 8:08 a.m. Within the first mile I had warmed up so I tossed the breast cancer long sleeve and the hat. I kept my gloves though and just took them on and off multiple times during the race. due to the different start times/waves I did feel that there was less bobbing and weaving early on in the race, more so than previous years. Last year I remember being elbowed a couple of times and bobbing and weaving to get away from people not running my pace.
My plan was to try and hold off on jumping out too fast for this race. So I tried to look at watch reasonably frequently and make sure my pace was less than 10 min mile pace. If I stayed below 10 minute mile I would meet my goal of PRing the race. There were some favorite high lights of this race and one of the first ones I remember was coming up at mile 4 and passing through Lincoln Park and as we were heading towards the turn heading back downtown we passed a building that was an assisted living home. Seated at the windows three to four stories up were elderly people in wheelchairs with signs against the window cheering us on. Many of us, myself included, looked at them and waved. I thought to myself I wonder if one of them have run this race or something similar to it and what must they be feeling as they were sitting there watching us run by. I hope they were thinking, "I'm glad I did it, I'm glad I ran, I've had a good life".
O.K. flashforward- our family normally sees us at my 14 and then runs a block over and sees us again at my 16. So seeing your family when you are running a marathon is "the best". It is a huge motivator for me and something to look forward to. So I saw my family at mile 14 and then I had to make a decision. A huge decision- Do I stop to go pee? I know TMI, but to runners this can be a huge decision, because the time you spend in a port o potty line is time you have to make up later if you want to PR a race. I had been feeling the need to utilize the good old port o potty since mile 6 off and on and after seeing my family I knew it wasn't "nervousness" by mile 14. So after I passed my family I saw a port of potty that had minimal people in line- envision a line of 6-8 port o potty and three lines with 2 in 2 and one in one. So I jumped behind the guy in the "1" line. Well after what felt like 5 minutes of waiting I peed and ran on. So how much time did I really lose? Well as you'll see at the bottom with my mile/mile splits I lost some, but I also went back to running as hard as I could.
Son and my nephew having fun cheering.
These are the kids and cousins giving "5" to whomever would give them five, which was quite a few strangers...
and even their Aunt Natalie/Mom.
Here's Matt in the yellow.
This is me after my port o potty stop- I look happy after that quick break and ready to RUN! If I had been smart I would've checked my watch to know just how much time I lost so I instead just kept moving and trying to stay under that 10 minute mile pace. I really felt relatively good throughout the whole race. I only had my bilateral "butt" pain around mile 17 and it only lasted about 1 mile- which I was thankful for. The last part of the race- last 6 miles is pretty neat if you can move pass the pain, the smell of your own body and the bodies around you and enjoy the sights of China Town. Lively area! I headed down the home stretch and pushed it as much as I could.
Matt finished 3:31- Awesome job! I came in 4:23:11 (my PR by 7 seconds- glad that port o potty stop didn't take 8 seconds longer :)). I finished strong and sprinted down the home stretch. After crossing the finish line I started to not feel well pretty quickly. I felt dizzy/light headed and like I needed to throw up. So I sat down on the curb and put my head between my legs. After resting for a few minutes I knew I needed to keep moving. I went through the medal line and received my medal and then picked up some food. None of the snacks looked appealing, which if you know me, you know I like my food/snacks, so another sign I wasn't well. Then I headed for the bathrooms. I thought for certain being in a port o potty would stimulate me to throw up, but it just didn't come. So I layed under a tree for a few minutes and then again willed myself to keep moving. It felt like it took me forever to get to my family. Once I did my sick feeling didn't stop. My sister helped me change into warm clothes in the next set of port o potties I came in contact with that day. I've never been in so many different port o potties within the span of 7 hours. I felt a little better once getting warmer clothes on. Overall the weather was perfect to run in and me being cold after the race wasn't a new thing. I have a tendency to get cold after my long runs.
So here is me after the marathon. No I'm not a homeless lady. We hobbled to the car and on the way I craved a hot cocoa and some animal crackers or graham crackers. So we stopped at our normal 7 Eleven on way to car and I got some nourishment that either was going to make me throw up or fill my empty cold tummy. I filled my tummy and did fine on the car ride home. We went home and had some food, washed up and I enjoyed a long hot shower. Then headed back home- the ride home went a lot easier than I thought it was going to. DVDs are a savior and the kids were kept preoccupied while I fidgeted around in my seat trying to keep comfy. My awesome hubby drove the whole way home. We are such a good team- it was role reversed last year's marathon and I drove home while he lied down in the back of the van. Anyways- we made it home and that ends my Chicago Marathon 2012 story. I know it is lengthy, but I had to write it. If not for all of you great friends and family who weren't able to participate/witness our race at least for my self to help me remember all the hard work and training along with the fun that went into this race.
My son took this picture- pretty good photo shoot.
|20:20||- 1:48 (16%)||9'16"/mi|
|28:33||- 1:03 (11%)||8'13"/mi|
|37:53||+ 1:07 (-14%)||9'20"/mi|
|47:07||- 0:06 (1%)||9'14"/mi|
|56:31||+ 0:10 (-2%)||9'24"/mi|
|1:05:56||+ 0:01 (-1%)||9'25"/mi|
|1:15:23||+ 0:02 (-1%)||9'27"/mi|
|1:24:57||+ 0:07 (-2%)||9'34"/mi|
|1:34:30||- 0:01 (0%)||9'33"/mi|
|1:44:11||+ 0:08 (-2%)||9'41"/mi|
|1:53:50||- 0:02 (0%)||9'39"/mi|
|2:03:47||+ 0:18 (-4%)||9'57"/mi|
|2:12:51||- 0:53 (8%)||9'04"/mi|
|2:24:43||+ 2:48 (-31%)||11'52"/mi|
|2:34:45||- 1:50 (15%)||10'02"/mi|
|2:44:31||- 0:16 (2%)||9'46"/mi|
|2:54:26||+ 0:09 (-2%)||9'55"/mi|
|3:04:58||+ 0:37 (-7%)||10'32"/mi|
|3:15:18||- 0:12 (1%)||10'20"/mi|
|3:25:45||+ 0:07 (-2%)||10'27"/mi|
|3:36:12||+ 0:00 (0%)||10'27"/mi|
|3:46:51||+ 0:12 (-2%)||10'39"/mi|
|3:57:44||+ 0:14 (-3%)||10'53"/mi|
|4:08:06||- 0:31 (4%)||10'22"/mi|
|4:17:52||- 0:36 (5%)||9'46"/mi|